Saturday, July 31

a farewell to alex

Felt nostalgic when I found out that Hurricane Higgins died. The whole feel of Pot Black came flooding back. Watching that was a bit like meditation.

He was not just a snooker genius, but a champion smoker, an inspiration (ahem) to ciggie lovers everywhere.

It gave him the same black spot as Albert.

I must read his book.

the deifheid chronicles

It's Friday after work. On the way now to yet another dreadful deifheid dinner party. If I was a different person, I'd be grateful - I get driven there and back, I could drink all their booze (but never do), the food is tasty if you like that kind of thing. Yet all I can think is: another chunk of my life wasted.

Last weekend was better. There was a 4-hour walk, with a group of new people, and some of them were hardly deifheids at all!

Late Friday night. Just back from the deif dinner. A great night. I told you it would be good. I was handed a glass of red champagne when I arrived. Why did nobody ever tell me drink could help?

Also, the hosts were the birthday girl's parents, so for once the grown ups were in charge of the asylum, and the chief deifheids showed some restraint. I sat beside the mother, an absolute sweetie. If only I was ten years older! When I expressed an interest in her paintings, she took me into her bedroom to show me the best one. I got a proper kiss on the way out. If I'd been quicker off the mark there could have been tongue.

For entertainment, there was a litter of kittens. And even some of the conversation wasn't too bad. For once the cellmate had to drag me away.

On the minus side, I had to eat some dead tortured chemicalised animal. It all balances up.

- Posted from iPod

Thursday, July 29

feathers in the cap

There's a new feather in my cap, but do I really need any more? Not if my life's already a glorious indian chief head-dress of achievement.

Which it's not of course.

The second-last useful thing I ever achieved was jumping aboard a ship to New South Caledonia. That's where I ended up meeting the cellmate, my very last achievement, and even then I had the help of a dribble of hormones.

Now there's a former client, a thoroughly nice chap who has actually been applying, in his job, some of the stuff that I told him about. Possibly a first! It's analagous to a buddhist blogger discovering that some reader has felt inspired to take up meditation.

I've kept in touch with this guy, and recently I casually asked if he would like to come and address the new batch of clients. Well he's very keen, and so am I, because it would really help the clients. That's the good part. But at the same time, he has asked me to come to his workplace, a large corporate organisation, and address the troops to persuade them to use my methodology in their own work.

Dearie me. Even if they paid me, it'd be hard work. If only I was half my age and ten times more ambitious, I could seize the opportunity and make something of myself.

Some people have the gene for ambition, and good luck to them. It's people like them that run the world, so that people like me don't have to. But how will they ever achieve doing nothing? Hopeless!

Monday, July 26

driven to recycle

Over the years, I have learned a few things from Cap'n Kev. Some useful, some useless, it balances up. 

You know how some people are driven by an ideology? Cap'n Kev's an environmentalist (some might say mentalist), and it's made him an obsessive recycler: he spends a large part of his life finding new homes for old stuff. Mostly he notices things in the street or in the wilderness, takes them home, and then offers them to people via phone or email. 

I kind of admire his principled dedication, but sometimes he takes it too far. Soon after he got his first computer, he learned how to scan it for viruses. He phoned me up:

Kev: The virus scanner says it has found all these viruses on the disk. It's offering to delete them. What shall I do?

Me: Delete them. 

Kev: But I don't want to waste them. Surely someone somewhere could use them?

Me: Delete them.

Next time I met him, he handed me a floppy disk. He had carefully copied all the viruses onto it for me, before deleting them from his machine. 

Sunday, July 25

midweek high point

The highlight, possibly the only bright moment, in last week, was wangling my name onto the guest list for a talk by possibly the world's greatest living poet. If he was British, he'd be poet laureate and a Sir. Instead of which, he lives in deepest uninhabited New Caledonia, and only ever comes up to Dinna Say to launch another book.

He shared the stage with a former Brain Of NSC. There they were, two very different brains the size of planets, just conversing for 90 minutes. What fun!

And there was free booze. Not just the usual red or white, but you ordered whatever you wanted from the bar, and took it with you into the theatre. And finger food served by young things.

Sometimes you can hardly believe your luck. Not often though.

Saturday, July 24

finding your g spot

When I was a student, I found better things to do during the day than go to classes and learn stuff. The Friday free organ recitals in the big old hall gave me a love of Bach. Over the years I came to enjoy his orchestral, chamber and solo music.

But I used to wonder why he wasted so much of his time writing vocal and choral music, which I detested. Why had he been such a Holy Willie?

Of course I was an idiot. I see now that Bach's Cantatas, Masses and Passions are in a sense the ultimate. Like nothing else they reach the cortical god-spot, the part that programs us to feel the god thing.

Of course it's all just mathematics and waves, but so is everything else.


I read this just now: you can tell the health of your marriage by the number of teeth marks on your tongue.

- Posted from iPod

Wednesday, July 21

losing the advantage

Yesterday the boss issued a proclamation, via email, that all employees were to stay late last night. So they could queue up outside his door to receive their personal timetables for the rest of the year.

And verily I emailed him that I wouldn't be staying late, but I would come to his office this morning and see him.

Round one to me.

Yet it came to pass this morning on the way to work, that I spied a record shop having a big CD sale. By the time I left the shop with 18 CDs in my bag, it was nearly midday. There was no point in going to work and leaving immediately for lunch, so by the time I get to see the boss it will be afternoon.

Round 2 may go to him. Fair enough, it all has to balance up. It's my own fault for losing the upper hand.

But if even half of those CDs are as good as I think, it'll be worth it.

Readers might be interested to know that three of the CDs were by a gay Bavarian singing Handel and Vivaldi, falsetto, in Latin. What a fortunate creature I am, not to be a deifheid.

- Posted from iPod at lunch.

Sunday, July 18

deifheids bonding

'Cocaine n fitba mak homosexuals ay us aw' - the great bard Rabbie Burns, according to Irvine Welsh, in If You Liked School You'll Love Work.

Friday night, there was a dinner for the full complement of deifheids. The cellmate went along, but I wasn't invited. Result!

Next day, she said she had observed how the male deifheids do a lot of their bonding over a shared hatred of homosexuals. That's interesting.

I was fascinated to realise that several PC males, who might have been expected to at least feign respect for sexual minorities, are homophobes when they get together.

Deifheids enjoying a whinge session is hardly surprising, because a deifheid by definition has to talk about himself, and that includes his complaints and resentments. .

And yet in a way it is surprising, because a deifheid by definition is too self absorbed to listen to another whinger.

It all balances up.

I'm just thankful that (1) I didn't have to waste an evening listening to it, and (2) I myself never whinge about anything.

- Posted from iPod

Friday, July 16


Ching conservation is good for you.

Ching dissipation is good for you.

It's not either/or. It all balances up. The only absolute is that you can't do both at the same time, as far as I know anyway.

This has been a public interest post.

Tuesday, July 13

a farewell to arse

Nearly midnight. The joy of diving into bed, when you know the electric blanket has been on all evening. Surfing an ocean of hot bliss.

I've had a reader request for an end to the toilet posts, so I've decided to turn over a new leaf of toilet paper. Starting right now. There's just time to tell you what happened today. You know how it is, when you're doing something interesting, like reading or playing scrabble, and an attention-seeking crap announces itself, straining for release, but you tell yourself "I'll just finish this chapter/game/chore first."

Eventually there's a last-minute sprint to the cludge, removing your pants just in the nick of time? Except that one day you find there's already some kind of putrid poultice gumming your buttocks together. Afterwards, you have to get in the shower for a full-body bidet.

You know what that's like? No, neither do I, but it happened to Albert today. That guy's on the slippery slope to senility. I've warned him not to expect any more exposure on this blog. It could start putting people off.

Monday, July 12

full time

Fair enough I suppose.

You could see the goal taking shape, beginning from the dodgy award of a goal kick at the other end, which put me off and I wasn't even playing. Without that decision, it was heading for penalties.

For me, the finest moments came after the whistle. The Dutch guard of honour, and decent fireworks.

PS. Has anyone ever seen Ramos and Harry Kewell in the same room? Or Robben and David Hayman?

half time

Sorry to say Holland doesn't deserve to win. Deliberate fouling strategy, and Robben diving. Effective though.

But the big disappointment is the great Martin Tyler dropping out of the commentator job here in NSC. I hope he's not sick. He's no longer a well man. In recent years you can hear him wheezing.

So NSC TV passed the mike to a double act of locals, who kept up a stream of chatter and reminiscences. I had to turn off the sound and switch over to radio, where thankfully they're forced to address the action. However, the radio is a full second ahead of the TV. So instead of seeing the action then getting an audio explanation, you first hear an event then look to the picture to illustrate it. And at moments of drama, the tone of voice gives away the outcome before you see it.

The second half's about to start. If I was a Spanish player, I'd be scared of getting a boot in the face. Time for the ref to use the red card.

Sunday, July 11


The remote control for the bedroom telly is wonky. At 4 a.m. I could get the picture for Germany v Uruguay but without sound. It was too cold to get out of bed and turn up the volume, so I struggled through the first half vuvuzelaless. Then I fell asleep again.

I awoke for the last half-minute, and braved the cold to turn up the commentary. The guy was saying it had been one of the best matches.

So today I went to buy a new remote, ready for the final.

My brother Beef McClochendichter wants Spain to win. For me the choice is easy. A country that gave the world dope cafes and Hirsi Ali. Or a country that gave us bull-torture and the last home of European fascism. The last time I saw Holland play was in 1982, brilliant they were. I know nothing about football but I know what I like.

Thursday, July 8

for posterity

I was emptying the phone memory, and threw these 2008 texts out. For the benefit of future social archaeologists, they are preserved here, in chronological order I think.

I'M on the bus now, think i'M quite near i can see the big tower thing.

almost food poisoned eating old dears re-reheated chicken. dont call her, 9 hrs BEHIND. dude feral re bank. mattress! hope flight good + fuselage intact. XXXXX

Cant find it meet me at zoo station shops when your ready r

Don't think I'll be in Scotland, bummer, I'd love to see you. What are your movements and dates? Love, Pat

C'est très jolly joli le noo maintenant et le mer et si bon... J'espere quand meme avec vous aussi 'n' that. Amitiés. John E Perpignon-and-on. P.S. Mortie Noir roulerais dans son grave. Tant piss

Hi valerie. rob1 told me just to take the key, he's still there. thanks. rob2

Will be out all sunday (and most of monday), what's best for you? i can leave a tarp out. or following sunday is free. regards, r

ion ether, was still hoping to drag U away from sluggery 4 coffee, right up till i quit eburg just now. next time? go well, rob (studying the form)

i told mary i'll get the onions for dinner - let me know if you need anything else. see you tonight

love and admire you so much darling xxxxxx. Take care of yourself.

Cld meet u on monday 3pm at the top of byres rd? Linda

Hi Linda, good we caught up and met some of your family. regards, rob

Boarding for tokyo in about five mins. will email you arran canasta photos. cheers. rob

Bon voyage rob! Was guid seein yees. Im on the dunkirk ferry. Home thursday. Tok soon. P

Lovely 2 catch up. Hope u have a safe journey home. Linda

Boarding at london now, thanks again for everything dude, love rob

Tuesday, July 6

between the ears and the legs

Medical news. A doc at the hospital called and said the old dear's improving on a cocktail of two bliss pills, but resisting further improvement. The doc wanted to know our family's preferences about giving her ECT. As you might expect, the Bavarian branch of the family is all for it, and after consideration so am I. If she's going to end up back at home with her useless husband, it would even things up if she was a zombie just like him.

Home news. There are new renters moving in next door to replace the racketeers who moved out last week. For now there's complete peace in the garden. Cap'n Kev has given me a big old 2000-watt leaf blower, a huge and useless machine. If I ever wanted to clear up dead leaves rather than let nature take its course, I would use a rake. But if the new neighbours turn out to be, like the last ones, compulsive in-garden mobile phone shouters, this deafening machine will come in handy after all.

Foreign news. The pension fund gave me an update on the recent injury to her "front bottom, well not bottom but the crack". And she's been getting good feedback from her birthday guests about me. So maybe the trip was all almost worthwhile.

Friday, July 2

abluter user interface

I was reading about Glastonbury toilets, where last century people used to throw themselves into latrines, probably with embarrassment at crapping with no door. Apparently some folk even died of shame on the pan. Nowadays Glastonbury has hermetic robotic toilets. Everything balances up over time.

In Jockland recently I went in a train bog with a sliding star trek door that swished closed behind me. While seated, I thought I'd double check that the door really was locked. On pushing the red "Close" button, I was surprised when the door whizzed open again, giving a panoramic view of half the carriage. Those train designers should attend Albert's classes on user interface design.